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New Jersey Child Support
Child Support in New Jersey

In New Jersey, either parent, regardless of any marital fault, may be ordered to pay and make provisions for the support, care and education of a child. In deciding child support, the courts consider:

  • the needs of the child;
  • the standard of living and the financial circumstances of both parents;
  • the financial resources, needs and obligations of both parents;
  • the earning power of each parent;
  • the child's need and capacity for education, including college work;
  • the age and health of the parents and the child;
  • any income and assets and earning ability of the child;
  • whether either parent has a responsibility to support others;
  • any debts and liabilities of the parents or the child;
  • and any other relevant factors.

Courts follow the New Jersey Child Support guidelines unless both parents agree to an amount other than that calculated by the guidelines, or the courts decide the guidelines are unjust due to specific circumstances of the case.

New Jersey uses the Income Shares Model to determine the amount of child support the noncustodial parent must pay. The Income Shares Model estimates the amount of support that would have been available if the marriage had not failed. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. It is easy to do this using the New Jersey child support worksheet. Pay records typically substantiate the estimated incomes.

This routine takes into account both parents' gross income and applies a percentage to it based on the number of minor children they have together. The court takes the combined income of both parents and works out the proportion each contributes. That figure is then divided proportionately based on each parent's ability to pay and which parent has primary custody.

If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the greater portion of the child support obligation; conversely, if the noncustodial parent has a lower income than the custodial, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the smaller portion of the child support obligation.

New Jersey child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet generates an appropriate New Jersey child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other factors such as taxes paid and retirement contributions.

Once this amount is determined it is essential to take a look at any appropriate New Jersey child support deviation factors that may be applicable to the situation. Additional information about New Jersey child support can be found in the New Jersey state statutes.

The New Jersey Supreme Court child support guidelines are contained in New Jersey Civil Practice Rules, Appendix IX. and New Jersey Statutes Annotated; Title 2A, Chapter 34-23.

Calculate New Jersey Child Support

Other Expenses and Deductions

A support order may require that a parent be responsible for an insurance policy covering the child's medical, hospital, and other health care expenses.

Extraordinary medical expenses, childcare and secondary education is all considered add ons by the court.

Child Support Enforcement

New Jersey law establishes specific procedures to enforce a child support order and obligation. The court can suspend a person's driver's license, professional license or passport pursuant to New Jersey law for non-payment of child support. Additionally, a court has the authority to order the arrest of a parent who fails to pay child support. In such a situation, a parent can be placed in a jail in a work release program in order to ensure he or she makes child support payments.

More information about New Jersey Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.

Emancipation

In New Jersey, child support terminates when the child become financially independent, not like most states where support ends when he or she turns 18 or graduates from high school. The court does not terminate the support of a child in college or dependent on his or her parents. The court terminates support on a case-by-case basis that depends on the circumstances of the parents and child.

In New Jersey a child becomes emancipated automatically when he or she marries (even if the marriage happens before the age of 18) or if a child goes to work instead of college, the parent can ask the court to end support.

New Jersey has no statute of limitation on back child support, so when the child is emancipated, a parent must have paid all past due support. The New Jersey Child Support Program (CSP) pursues deadbeat parents, and uses wage garnishment, interception of tax refunds, confiscation of lottery winnings and liens against real estate, banks and property to collect all support due.

Deviation Factors

In accordance with R. 5:6A, 0f the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, a court is permitted "to modify or disregard an award under the Guidelines upon a requisite finding of good cause. The Rule makes this concept applicable not only to orders in which child support is initially fixed, but motions where a modification is sought. R.5:6A states in pertinent part: 'The Guidelines may be modified or disregarded by the court only where good cause is shown. Good cause shall consist of a) the considerations set forth in Appendix IX-A, or the presence of other relevant factors which may make the Guidelines inapplicable or subject to modification, and b) the fact that injustice would result from application of the Guidelines. In all cases, the determination of good cause shall be within the sound discretion of the court.'"

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